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Localize Or Go Worldwide: How To Slice and Dice Your Business Niche

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Localize or go worldwide?
500 really amazing high paying customers or 5,000,000 mediocre ones?
Dominate locally? Try to expand nationally?
Who is my niche? Are they passionate (such as Cardinals fans) or passive (like people that like a certain toothpaste..unless you tell everyone about your favorite toothpaste…in that case rock on, but you are weird.)?

Seth Godin often talks about dominating a specific niche. How specific is up to debate. For example, lets say you are trying to define your niche. Is your niche:
1. People (yes, that is pretty darn broad)
2. Business People (ummm..broad)
3. Business Owners (Broad, darn it. Broad!)
4. Female Business Owners (Hmmm…still broad..but getting there)
5. Female Small Business Owners (Getting there….)
6. Female Small Business Owners in St. Louis (Pretty specific!)
7. Female Small Business Owners in St. Louis under-35 (uh oh maybe too many are there??)
8. Female Small Business Owners in St. Louis under-35 with 2 kids (Ummm…uh oh)
9. Female Small Business Owners in St. Louis under-35 with 2 kids and cocker spaniel (game over)

The example above illustrates a niche spectrum. How specific does your business have to be to be successful? I’m all about niches. Every business I’ve started has a pretty specific niche. For example, when I was in the hockey world, I was aiming after people that enjoyed inline hockey in St. Louis (believe it or not at that time…it was quite a few people). For The Rise To The Top, we are bit more broad but aim after young and young-at-entrepreneurs. For our events it is a little more specific and that is young and young-at-heart entrepreneurs in St. Louis. Stop. Pause. Wait.

St. Louis, eh? Isn’t that pretty specific? My answer is YES. Think about your business:

Can you serve your local community?
Dominate locally?
Try something in your city that has NEVER been done before?
Become laser focused where you are the local expert on *something*?

Going worldwide, biggest, best may seem like a good idea; however, have you considered the growing pains and infrastructure needed?

Below is a video about some companies in St. Louis that are doing some pretty cool things right now. Some are reinventing the wheel, some are dominating locally, others are going worldwide.
The point is there is no “right” way to be an entrepreneur, but it will be much harder to fail if you find a passionate niche.

Where this is passion (whether it is fashion, business, or more), there are niches. Where there are passionate niches, there are business opportunities. Where there are business opportunities, there is money to be made.

Links mentioned in the video:
St. Louis Fashion Week
Unbeatable Musical
Abstrakt Art Gallery
Virtual Nerd
Off Campus Media
Widget Realm

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